Steam and Diesel Train Pictures and Rail Cars

Trains That I Have Seen —and Some That I Have Ridden On

In my various travels around the USA and in Europe I have come across quite a few trains. I have a set of thumbnail images of the Truckee and Virginia RR that I rode on from Virginia City Nevada to the end of the line and back (around 4 miles) but there are many others.

The city of Portland actually owns a steam train: Southern Pacific's Steam Train Soutnern Pacific 4449 in Hillsboro 4449 (SP-4449). This is the train that was restored and was used in 1976 to pull the cars full of historical items during the USA's bicentennial celebration. SP4449 was given to Portland and stored in Oaks Park for years then pulled out, restored (with private money) and has been maintained ever since in operational order (again, with private money and donations, the City of Portland does not help out at all).

To give a sense of scale of the engine here is a shot taken from the front with some people posing on either side of the engine (in black and white for that nostalgia look, I used Kodak Plus-X for the roll of film that I shot in black and white).

Here are the SP4449 engine controls. Very simple and is actually pretty straightforward, but knowing when to use them requires lots of training!

SP4449 has its own web site that talks in more detail about it.

In Carson city there is a RailRoad turntable in front of the shed where they work on trains right next to a pretty good RailRoad museum.

Outside the museum there is a Union Pacific caboose Union Pacific Caboose at the Carson City Railroad Museum WP 449.

If you go through Alturas at the south end of town there is the train engine 2718 behind a chain link fence. Here is another view of SP2718. I think this used to belong to Southern Pacific Railway.

Portmadog Narrow Guage Welsh Slate train in Norther WalesWelsh Train A Welsh narrow gauge train at Portmadog. They had three different engines that run from Portmadog up to the old slate mines some 25 miles away. A very good train trip that offers great views and interesting history at both ends of the line.

 

Virginia City Railroad train at Gold Hill NevadaVirginia City Railroad Virginia City Railroad that run between Virginia City and Gold Hill. This is a tourist excursion railroad that is only 3 and 1/2 miles.

 

Engine 22 at Carson City Railroad MuseumEngine Number 22 Inside the railroad museum at Carson City is Engine 22. This is a small (well, anything that has train engines are not really small) museum but has lots of variety. If you know someone, or it is not too busy, you can get to go though the yards.

 

Yard engine at the turntable at the RR MuseumYard Engine This is a yard engine that they use at the museum. Very cute little engine.

 

old boxcar standing at the RR Museum in Carson NevadaOld Boxcar This is a very old boxcar that is stored outside. It really should not be outside. Storing it outside means that it will deteriorate slowly over the years. It really should be inside the building or at least under a protective covering.

 

Union Pacific caboose RR carUnion Pacific Caboose A retired Union Pacific caboose at the Virginia City Railroad Museum.

 

RR turntable at Carson City Rail Road MuseumRailroad Turntable This is the turntable at the museum. Every major rail hub had one of these at one time near the maintenance sheds.

Nevada State RailRoad Museum's web site has more information.


From another train enthusiast of mine .

It's always fun to vacation and travel, and I learn a lot - sometimes when I travel I'm lucky enough to visit a historical society, or library and come back home with some leads on people to follow up and talk with -

Our recent trip to Whidbey Island has been rewarding to me, because I was finally able to answer a personal mystery that had been puzzling me for some time.

I had some information about the Great Northern branch line to Anacortes that showed a location a few miles east of Anacortes, out where there is nothing today - a spot called the Wash Coop Egg and Poultry spur

Its, a location just a bit west of the railroad drawbridge onto Fidalgo Island, in the shadows of two huge oil refineries (where we get our gasoline here in the northwest) and a place that once had some significance with the GN, but has long since disappeared rail wise.

I've tried to find an old timer - a retired RR employee but no luck.

Was it a lone feed mill out in the country?

Or a town site that had long disappeared?

Well I finally found out what was going on there.

I got a clue when I discovered a retired Wash Coop Egg and Poultry employee living in Coupeville, Wash, miles from any rr track.

So I gave him a call, and here's what I learned.

At one time they raised huge numbers of turkeys on Whidbey island - The farmers there were selling the turkeys, and Wash Coop Egg and Poultry provided the farmers with turkey feed, as well as buying their turkeys to process and resell to consumers.

So Wash Coop Egg and Poultry had an operation in Oak Harbor And in those days many things came by boat so they were located out on a dock - waterside. The poultry feed came in by boat, and the turkeys were processed in a plant and quite possibly shipped out by boat?

(I'd heard stories before WWII, before freezing and everyone having refrigerators that turkeys were often shipped preserved somehow in barrels)

So I figure before WWII.

I was told they up to 15,000 turkeys were processed a season at one time in that Wash Coop Poultry and Egg processing plant on Whidbey island. well WWII came along - and transportation was impacted evidently they couldn't get their feed in by boat easily anymore. I know there were all sorts or wartime restrictions on railroads and trucks - to try to coordinate transportation

Evidently the Great Northern put a spur in so they could get their feed by rail instead of boat. to receive carloads of poultry feed - which in those days came sacked in boxcars. They unloaded the boxcars on the spur and then trucked them down to Oak Harbor, 12 miles away or so, where they were sold and distributed to the farmers.

The best place to locate that spur was right by where the highway comes up from Whidbey island. nothing there but room for a couple of cars I was told no feed mill, no town - just a place to unload the carloads of corn, mash, grain, whatever turkeys eat, and transfer the sacks of feed to the truck.

WWII brought the huge Whidbey Island Naval air station, and people to Whidbey Island. Farm land no doubt was transformed to homes.

After WWII Wash Coop Poultry and Egg expanded their poultry processing plant and added cold storage in nearby Mt Vernon. It wasn't long and they closed the turkey processing plant on Oak Harbor what farmers were left on Whidbey island could drive over to Mt Vernon for their feed, and deliver their turkeys to the big plant in Mt Vernon for processing.

About 1957 Shell Oil, and a year later Texaco built huge oil refineries nearby that now unused spur for Wash Coop Poultry and Egg.

And the last echos of the whistle were being heard, of the steam powered log trains for the Puget Sound and Baker River Ry, running on the GN over to Whitmarsh Jct., the junction switch located just a few feet away from the now unused Wash Coop Egg and Poultry spur.

Today there's the Swinhomish Indian Casino nearby, and divided high speed 4 lane highway taking people from the mainland to the San Juans and Canada via ferry.

You'll have to look pretty hard now for a sign of the logging rr down to the log dump at nearby Similk bay. I couldn't see anything of the Wash Coop Egg and Poultry spur.

But now I know why and another mystery for me has been solved.